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Before leaving home and when you arrive, you will need to complete certain administrative tasks to smooth the way for your stay in France.
Do I need a visa?
- EU Citizens and those from countries within the Schengen area do not need a visa
- If you are from outside this zone, you will need a long stay student visa when staying in France for over 3 months. In this case, please contact the French Embassy or the Consulate General of France nearest to you in your home country for further information on how to apply and obtain your visa.
Note: to be able to study in France, you must have a student visa and this must be obtained before arriving in France > campus France
- EU Citizens and those from countries within the Schengen area do not need a resident permit. However, if you are from Croatia and you want to find a job while studying, you must have a residence permit.
- If you are from outside the EU and Schengen area, please contact your closest Consulate General of France for information on the residence permit.
Note: The application to get your student visa is primarily dependent on the course length, timing and subject matter. You may be required to go through the Campus France administration process. More information: campus France
Useful contacts in France
If you live in Paris, or you have just arrived in France and you have to make an adjustment to your situation, or if you wish to renew your student residence permit you can contact:
- International Student Services at CIUP:
17, boulevard Jourdan – 75014 Paris.
M° Cité Universitaire ciup.fr.
Services only available from mid-September to November.
- The Préfecture (French local administrative centre) or the Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Integration (OFII) (Immigration and Integration French Services) nearest to where you are living. For Paris only, you may contact the Centre de réception des étudiants étrangers de la Préfecture de Police (Reception desk for international students at the Police headquarters):
92, bd Ney, 75018 Paris M° Porte de
Clignancourt / OFII – 48 rue de la
Roquette – 75011 PAR IS – M° Bastille.
Service available all year round.
Did you remember everything? Fill out this checklist to make sure:
- Set up a way to communicate and pay for purchases in the first few days.
- Have access to a phone that works in France.
- Record your contact numbers: housing, school, and emergency numbers.
- Check that your ATM card will allow you to withdraw cash from French machines (available in airports and train stations), or pack enough cash to pay for transportation to your housing.
- You will find currency exchange offices in airport terminals and train stations, and bus depots.
- Ask your host school for information about welcome day, orientation week, etc. and inform them when you arrive.
- Also remember to ask about hours for enrollment, or request an appointment.
- Inform your landlord or the manager of your residence upon arrival.
- If you are staying in a university residence, the reception desk will provide you the key to your room. Keep in mind that the desk is closed after 4:00 pm and on weekends.
- If you are staying in private accommodations, contact your landlord and set an appointment for the initial walk-through and to get your key.
Every International student – European or not and within an exchange program or not – will have to go through administrative procedures at their arrival in France. Please make sure that you have these documents with you:
- Passport or national identity card for members of the Schengen area.
- Birth certificate and a certified translation (for European students, there are acts of multilingual birth that avoid having to pay for a translation).
- Health record, recent x-rays.
- Official forms specifying the social coverage subscribed in your country: students from the European Union: the E111 or E128 or your insurance European card, Quebec students: form SE401Q102bis or SE401Q106; – Certificate of registration in the host institution.
- Latest diploma and their correspondingmark transcript with certified translations.
- Certificate of achievement for French or English tests as the language of instruction in your program.
- Driving license (optional).
IMPORTANT: Do not take ID photos in advance in your country, they will not be accepted for official documents. Near your host school, mostly in Metro stations or at RER train stations, photo booths which will deliver pictures to the ‘photo d’identité’ format can be found and used.